We have seen Sandy Alderson wear several hats during his short tenure as Mets’ general manager. Some results have been good, while others have been lacking.
Alderson gets high marks for ridding the Mets of the stagnant culture they had with Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. He gets kudos for unloading the contracts of Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez, and avoiding the payday of what would have been a big contract for R.A. Dickey.
For them, he received highly-rated prospects Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud, both of whom could be factors this season.
It’s also a plus that he negotiated the buyout of Jason Bay – which eliminated a hovering distraction – and for letting Jose Reyes leave. The latter decision was good, although the methods could have been cleaner and more public relations sensitive.
Bay became expendable because he did not hit, and it didn’t matter that the Mets didn’t have a major league player ready to take his place. It will be interesting to see what Alderson does this winter if Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada don’t produce this summer.
Alderson has not done will in piecing together the bullpen and outfield, nor has he succeeded in building depth in the rotation is the wake of Johan Santana’s injury, Dickey’s departure and letting Mike Pelfrey go while arms were needed.
We have seen Alderson operating in several roles, but we have not yet seen him as a buyer. The Mets are promising they will have the resources this winter to enter the free-agent market.
Wherever Alderson has been – Oakland and San Diego – he’s operated with restraints. And, it has been that way in his stay with the Mets.
If you’re willing to drink more of the Kool-Aid and believe the Mets will be active this winter, you won’t be alone wondering what Alderson might accomplish.
If the first two weeks are any indication, he has a lot of shopping to do:
The Mets are two-deep in their rotation with Matt Harvey and Jon Niese, both of whom are being relied on to produce more than their current track records. Alderson has not brought up Wheeler for both economic and performance reasons. There’s no guarantee what he will do when he arrives. The Mets easily need at least two starters.
The bullpen remains a serious question. Most bullpens in today’s game are a patchwork creation and the Mets are no different. There will be arms available, but the better ones are more expensive.
The current outfield is wearing a Band-Aid when a tourniquet is required. Am I the only one who envisions an entirely different outfield next spring?
If Davis and Tejada continue to underachieve, to what degree will Alderson be patient with them? Does he chase other players, while at the same timing limiting his options in other areas?
These are the dilemmas and questions faced by a buyer, not someone who operates on the cheap. Will be finally see Alderson as a buyer? The first test will be in late July.